Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sleep

Growing up, there were seven people in my family. (Six Tals, plus the nanny). Because it fit so perfectly, we each got assigned as one of the seven dwarves, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. As a kid, I was Bashful. (Seriously, I cried if you looked at me wrong. If there had been a “Sensitive” dwarf, that would have been me.)  Now that I’m a “grown up”, I’ve come out of my shell a bit. But, I am my mother’s daughter, through and through.

What does this have to do with sleep, you ask?

Momma was Sleepy. Was and is. And as it turns out, I am too. I can sleep anywhere – in cars, on planes, on couches, through movies… you name it.

While sleeping is great, I really hate waking up to an alarm. I might wake up naturally at 6:30 am, but if my alarm goes off before I’m ready, I’m grouchy all day long. And what is worse than taking a nap that isn’t quite long enough? Nothing, that’s what. It’s a recipe for a grumpy disaster.

So I got to thinking, how much sleep does my body need? I want to know when to go to bed, and when I’ll wake up and feel my best.

(As a side note, whenever I talk about sleep I think of Eric Whitacre’s SleepIt is one of my favorite pieces of his, and it’s definitely worth a listen. But only if you’re not driving… it tends to make me, well, sleepy.)

I am extremely fortunate in that my start time at work is pretty flexible. I can be at work any time between 8 and 10 am, unless I have a meeting or appointment scheduled. For the last week or so, I’ve been experimenting a bit with my sleep patterns. I haven’t set an alarm, and I’ve just gone to bed and woken up when it feels natural.

You guys. Do this. It’s awesome.

I don’t know if it’s the change of weather (FINALLY it’s warm!) or the fact that I’m just letting my body do what it naturally wants to do, but I feel so much better. I’m less cranky, waking up is actually easy (and I am not typically a coffee drinker so it’s never easy), and I’m learning so much about what my body and mind need to be successful throughout the day.

I’m still working on finding the exact balance, but what I’ve found is this: I go upstairs and start unwinding between 9:15 and 9:30 pm. This means teeth brushing, face washing, catching up on the interwebs, playing with the dog, putting on PJs, etc. I’m usually in bed by 10, and asleep by 10:30. It turns out, my sleep patterns (when they’re not interrupted by Jameson) are pretty typical – a solid 8 hours. (Every few nights I’ll sleep 9, which is sort of surprising. This morning, I woke up at 7:20 and was shocked at how late it was.) Most days, I am awake pretty consistently by 6:30 or so, if not earlier.

Like I said before, I’m extremely lucky that I don’t have to rush in the morning most of the time to be at work at 8 on the dot. However, my goal is to figure out my sleep patterns so that even when I DO have an early appointment, I’ll just need to alter my bed time in order to make it happen naturally. I’d love to phase my alarm out 100%.

How do you keep track of your sleep? Does waking up to an alarm stress you out or motivate you?

 

 

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Spring Time! Start Fresh!

Back in January, I made huge proclamations that I was going to be better about New Year’s Resolutions by not calling them that, and making monthly/quarterly goals, and sticking to them because I have a blog goddammit and it will keep me accountable!

Fast forward to now. I haven’t written much about my goals, and to be honest it’s because I haven’t been super focused on them. BUT! I’m not really that upset about it. While it would have been nice to say I met all my goals, (I DID meet some of them), I’ve really just been having fun, keeping busy, and not dwelling on what I should be doing.

And the weird part?

Through doing what feels natural and good in my life, I’ve done a pretty good job of sticking to my initial Q1 goals. Let’s recap:

1. Get serious about training my dog, and learning more about dog training in general – admittedly, I didn’t spend a ton of time on this in the past few months, and Jameson can always use more training, but we have gotten serious about doggy time-outs when he misbehaves (read: barks out the window), and it’s not perfect, but it seems to be working! I also met a girl that rides at my barn who trains dogs, and she is coming over on Sunday to see if she can help us with his barking problem, and his “go nuts when someone comes to the door” problem.

2. Take more (and better) pictures for my blog – Okay, full disclosure: pretty much immediately after I made this goal, I talked to Dan and sort of decided that he will be my photographer. I enjoy photography, and with more time to focus on it, I think I could get pretty good at it. But really, he already has an interest in it, is good at it, and wants to help. By involving him this way, it gets us both interested and involved in each others’ hobbies, which is a great way to have separate hobbies but still stay connected.  So, I didn’t acquire a new skill, but I’m still calling this one a win. And for the record, I finally backed up my iPhone photos onto my Mac last weekend! Finally I have space on my phone for music and apps!

3. Get in shape (for my life and my wedding) – this is one of the areas where I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve naturally moved forward, without obsessing and really focusing in on the details. In the past few weeks, I have been admittedly crazy busy, and haven’t made it into an actual gym recently. But with that said, my eating habits have improved greatly (I actually look forward to my salads, fruits and veggies – more on that later), and I’ve been exercising fairly regularly. I’ve been horseback riding at least twice a week, and now that the weather is getting nicer (seriously, Spring, get your act together) I’ve been taking Jameson on longer walks in the evenings. I feel better, have more energy, and when the dog is tired, I sleep better. 🙂

4. Plan for the future – I started some of the things I mentioned in my last post about this, like making a 2 year plan in Excel and creating a business plan. While I’ve sort of got these things under wraps, what I’ve really got are a lot of hopes and dreams that involve not sitting at a desk for 9-10 hours a day. Things are slowly coming together into a solid plan, though, and I’m confident that after the wedding (!!) I’ll have more time, energy, and money to focus on them.

So, now that I’ve word vomited all over the place, here’s what I’m going to focus on for the next few months:

  • Katie’s Wedding! It’s so soon! I’m so stoked!
  • Getting my sleep schedule/patterns more consistent.
  • My garden – I can’t wait to start it this year!
  • My pup and pony – training, exercising, and spending quality time.
  • Planning my wedding 🙂

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